The Three Little Pigs Literacy Activity

Engaging Students in Literacy and Story Telling

Three Little Pigs
Stick Puppets for Retelling. Websterlearning

The English Language Arts Standards in the Common Core State Standards include the ability to read or listen to folk tales and identify the purpose:  the moral or social lesson that the community who told these stories want to inculcate in their young.  Storytelling has had an important place in all folk cultures, as a means to share the community's values and teach the young.

The Standard: 

ELA Reading/Literature 2:  Recount stories, including fables, folktales, and myths from diverse cultures; determine the central message, lesson, or moral and explain how it is conveyed through key details in the text.

Students with disabilities sometimes lack the sort of engagement around stories that their typical peers enjoy.  It may because their parents lack the time and energy after dealing with their childrens' social, functional and pre-academic needs.  Many of our students are demanding.  It may be that these parents don't believe that their children with disabilities will benefit from lap time in the same way their typical siblings would, so they don't engage their children in read-alouds  or other literacy activities.  It may be the responsibility of the special education teacher to engage their students around these important literature. 

The Three Little Pigs is a story I told and retold to my own two sons when they were small.  As a social and interpersonal activity is was rewarding for both the boys and myself.  As a pastor, I was clearly aware of the implications of sharing and telling the story together.

  As I told it I was cognizant of the moral and social values of the story as well as the twists of the plot and the cadences that engaged the listeners.  I will make those elements clear in my retelling of the story. 

I am at the same time very much aware of the ideas the great Freudian Developmental Psychiatrist, Bruno Bettleheim explored in his ground breaking book, The Uses of Enchantment.  He posited that fairy tales help young children deal with difficult psychic and interpersonal issues.

  The wicked witch and the fairy godmother are the two ways they experience their own mothers and help them understand ambiguity. 

Directions for Telling the Story and Engaging Your Students:

  • Print the free printables.  I offer them in two formats, colored and uncolored.  I would recommend to print them on white cardstock, so they will last you several years.
  • Color the puppets if you don't have access to a color printer.
  • Cut out and Laminate the character heads.
  • Cut out and attach the character heads to tongue depressors.
  • Raise the curtain on your group performance of Little Red Riding Hood

Printables:

The Big Bad Wolf   Black and White

The Three Little Pigs  Pig One, Pig Two Pig Three

The Story

Be sure to include these elements in your telling:

  1. Cadences.  Familiar phrases are important parts of familiar stories.  i.e.: "They lived happily ever after."  These phrases will be in italics.
  2. Funny voices.  Students are clearly engaged when you make the big bad wolf voice, or the high squeaky "little pigs" of the three pigs.  These phrases will be in bold.

Once upon a time, there were three little pigs who lived with their mother, a wise old sow who wanted the best for her boys.  One day she gathered her piglets together and gave them each $20 before she sent them out into the world to find their fortunes.

  She wept as she waved goodby, but she knew she had to let them go.

The first little pig met a man with a wheelbarrow of hay on the road.

"What a fine load of hay," he squealed to the man.  "How much do you want for it?"

"Five dollars" said the man.  So the little pig gave the man five dollars and found a nice flat place to build his house.  And build he did.  In 4 hours he had finished his house of straw.

It wasn't long before the big bad wolf came by.  He smelled his favorite food;  PIG!

He knocked on the door. (Knock, knock, knock.)

"Little Pig, Little Pig, Let me come in!"

"Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin!" Squealed the little pig.

"Then I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow the house in!"

So he huffed, and puffed, and blew the house in. And gobbled up the little pig.

The second little pig meet a man with a wheelbarrow of sticks on the road.

"What a fine load of sticks," squealed the little pig.  "How much do you want for it?"

"Ten dollars" said the man.  So the little pig give the man ten dollars and took the wheelbarrow of sticks to a flat place where he built a little house of sticks.

It wasn't long before the big bad wolf came by.  He smelled his favorite food;  PIG!

He knocked on the door. (Knock, knock, knock.)

"Little Pig, Little Pig, Let me come in!"

"Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin!" Squealed the little pig.

So he huffed, and puffed, and blew the house in. And gobbled up the little pig.

The third little pig went down the road and met a man with a wagon load of bricks.

"What a fine load of bricks," he squealed to the man.  "How much do you want for it?"

"Five dollars" said the man.  So the little pig gave the man fifteen dollars and found a nice flat place to build his house.  And build he did.  In 4 days he had finished a stout house of brick.

It wasn't long before the big bad wolf came by.  He smelled his favorite food;  PIG!

He knocked on the door. (Knock, knock, knock.)

"Little Pig, Little Pig, Let me come in!"

"Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin!" Squealed the little pig.

So he huffed, and puffed, and he huffed and he puffed and he huffed and he puffed but he could not flow the house in.  He decided he would need to fool the pig.  So he said to the little pig:

"Little pig, farmer Magruder has a mighty fine apple tree.  Meet me there tomorrow at 8 in the morning."

So, the little pig got up early the next morning, at 6 a.m., and climbed Mr. Magruder's apple tree and began to fill his basket.  But when the wolf arrived at 8:00 a.m., the little pig was still in the tree. 

"Little pig, little pig," he called.  "How are the apples!!"

"See for yourself!" cried the little pig, as he tossed an apple as hard as he could, over the wolf's head.

He ran all the way home as the wolf scampered off after the apple.

Once again, he knocked on the little pigs door.

"Little pig, little pig.  Would you like to go to the county fair with me?   Let's meet at the fair at 6 a.m."

The little pig agreed.

But he left at five in the morning. But the wolf also left early.  As the little pig was leaving the fair, he saw the Big Bad Wolf coming up the path.  Quickly he climbed into the butter churn he had just bought and rolled down the hill toward the wolf.  When the wolf saw the butter churn rolling toward him, he ran home in terror.

That evening, the Big Bad Wolf went back to the little pigs house.

"Little pig, little pig, I went to the fair but a big, brown monster took after me and chased me all the way home!"

The little pig laughed and laughed.

"That was me! In my new butter churn!" he squealed with delight.

By now the Big Bad Wolf was very angry.  And just a bit embarrassed.  So he climbed up on the roof to go down the chimney.  The little pig was ready.  He had built a big fire for his supper, and he placed a big pot of bubbling water on the fire.  So when the Big Bad Wolf jumped down the chimney, the little pig slapped the lid on the pot.

And guess what he had for dinner?

Wolf!